Maine State Police welcomed eight new troopers Friday.
They received their badges at a graduation ceremony at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.
After eighteen weeks of training required of all police students, Maine’s newest troopers completed an additional ten weeks of specialized State Police training.
There are currently 19 vacancies in the department.
The graduating class honored tradition of paying tribute to fallen state troopers.
The State Police Chief administered the oath of office and discussed the changing society in which these graduates will be working.
“You do not have to look far throughout the country to see that we are divided and that each side has little tolerance for the opposite’s opinions or viewpoints. There is less self-responsibility today than ever before. It’s always somebody else’s fault. I don’t know how this has happened to our society but we seem to thrive on conflict. This is why we have invested huge amounts of time, energy, and money into providing you the best training possible, because you are a pivotal part of bringing calmness to the chaos,” said Col. Robert Williams.
The new troopers will be partnered with veteran troopers before patrolling on their own.